Past Avenali Lectures

Photo of Fredric Jameson.
"The Aesthetics of Singularity"
Tuesday, Feb 28, 2012 | 6:00 pm
International House, Chevron Auditorium
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United States

Literary theorist and critic Fredric Jameson is William A. Lane Professor in the Program in Literature and Romance Studies at Duke University. He has published a wide range of works analyzing literary and cultural texts, while developing his own Marxist theoretical perspectives and offering important critiques of opposing theoretical schools and positions. Professor Jameson’s best-known publications include Postmodernism, or, The Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism; The Political Unconscious; and Marxism and Form, and his most recent works are The Hegel Variations and Representing 'Capital.'

Photo of Joyce Carol Oates.
“The Writer’s (Secret) Life: Rejection, Woundedness, and Inspiration”
Thursday, Feb 10, 2011 | 6:00 pm
Sibley Auditorium, Bechtel Engineering Center
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United States

Author Joyce Carol Oates is a recipient of the National Book Award and the PEN/Malamud Award for Excellence in Short Fiction. She has written some of the most enduring fiction of our time, including the national bestsellers We Were the Mulvaneys and Blonde (a finalist for the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize), and the New York Times bestsellers The Falls and The Gravedigger's Daughter. Oates is the Roger S. Berlind Distinguished Professor of the Humanities at Princeton University and has been a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters since 1978.

Photo of Peter Greenaway.
"New Possibilities: Cinema is Dead, Long Live Cinema"
Monday, Sep 13, 2010 | 6:00 pm
Zellerbach Playhouse
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United States

Peter Greenaway, who trained as a painter for four years, started making films in 1966. His first narrative feature film, The Draughtsman’s Contract (1982), earned him international acclaim as an original filmmaker, a reputation consolidated by The Cook, the Thief, his Wife & her Lover (1989), Prospero’s Books (1991), The Pillow Book (1996), The Tulse Luper Suitcases (2003-2004), and more recently, Nightwatching (2007).

Photo of Wole Soyinka.
"Rights and Relativity: The Interplay of Cultures"
Monday, Feb 1, 2010 | 7:30 pm
Wheeler Auditorium
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United States

Writer, playwright and poet, Wole Soyinka was the first African to be awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1986. Soyinka is known as an outspoken critic of many Nigerian military dictators and of political tyrannies worldwide.

Photo of William Kentridge.
“Learning from the Absurd”
Sunday, Mar 15, 2009 | 5:00 pm
Hertz Hall
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United States

With an innovative use of charcoal drawing, prints, collages, stop-animation, film and theater, South African artist William Kentridge’s work continues to attract international recognition. Especially distinctive are his hand-drawn films, which are created using a technique he calls "stone-age filmmaking.”

Photo of Elaine Pagels.
“The Book of Revelation”
Tuesday, Mar 18, 2008 | 7:30 pm
Wheeler Auditorium
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United States

Harrington Spear Paine Professor of Religion at Princeton University, Elaine Pagels is well known for her work in the field of religious studies and theology. She first gained recognition for her research disproving the myth of the early Christian Church as a unified movement—in The Gnostic Gospels, she provides analysis of 52 early Christian manuscripts that show the pluralistic nature of the early church and the role of women in the developing Christian movement.

Photo of Walter D. Mignolo.
“Globalization and De-colonial Thinking”
Tuesday, Oct 17, 2006 | 7:30 pm
Lipman Room, Barrows Hall
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United States

Walter D. Mignolo is William H. Wannamaker Professor of Literature and Romance Studies, Cultural Anthropology and Spanish at Duke University. Professor Mignolo’s research focuses on global coloniality and the history of capitalism.

Photo of Stephen Greenblatt.
“Shakespeare and the Ethics of Authority”
Tuesday, Mar 21, 2006 | 7:00 pm
Lipman Room, Barrows Hall
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United States

Stephen Greenblatt is Cogan University Professor of the Humanities at Harvard University. His areas of specialization include Shakespeare, 16th- and 17th-century English literature, the literature of travel and exploration, and literary theory.

Photo of Joan Acocella.
“Ballet and Sex”
Tuesday, Feb 22, 2005 | 7:30 pm
Morrison Reading Room, Doe Library
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United States

Joan Acocella is a dance and book critic for The New Yorker. She has served as the senior critic and reviews editor for Dance Magazine and New York dance critic for London’s Financial Times.

Photo of Donna Haraway.
“From Cyborgs to Companion Species: Dogs, People, and Technoculture”
Tuesday, Sep 16, 2003 | 7:30 pm
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United States

Donna Haraway is a prominent theorist of the relationships between people and machines, and her work has incited debate in fields as varied as primatology, philosophy, and developmental biology. Haraway’s The Cyborg Manifesto, first published in 1985, is now taught in undergraduate classes at countless universities and has been reprinted or translated in numerous anthologies in North America, Japan, and Europe.

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